2011 Polaris Turbo IQ LX Review
Think of this as the Long Ranger for serious solo touring
Story by Jerry Bassett, Photography by Polaris, Nov 16, 2010
Polaris’ 2011 Turbo IQ LX seems perfect for solo riders who want to pour on the mileage, enjoy above average comfort, like strong off-the-line power, expect trouble-free riding and don’t expect to stop too many times to refuel. Sound like you? If you ride the trailways of Quebec, Ontario and the American Midwest, you are the target audience of long-range riders for whom Polaris engineered this sled.
Using the underpinnings of the pre-Rush crossovers, the 2011 Turbo IQ LX gives you a solid performing turbocharged engine to spin a modestly aggressive 136-inch Hacksaw track around the tried and true IQ 136 rear suspension. This extra length platform and suspension combination gives you great bridging of those rough stutter bumps that crop up before the trail gets groomed. It also provides a gripping base for the torque that spins from the Polaris 750cc single turbo twin.
While the Rush-based models may be getting the publicity and the marketing push for 2011, the IQ chassis retains some solid strengths for long distance cruisers. The IQ 136 suspension has been refined to ideally fit this chassis. Add in the fact that it is coupled front to rear and you gain comfort knowing that when you hit the throttle the track will keep the skis on the snow. And when you jam the brake lever in on that Phantom hydraulic brake, the front end will stay planted and the track will not wash out. Long rangers have to like that.
They’ll also appreciate the proven performance of this steadily updated turbocharged four-stroke. Polaris has refined the turbo motor to give underappreciated performance. Indeed, when the turbo was tested on snow acceleration runs, few riders could believe the results they saw on the radar guns and stop watches. This motor makes deceivingly quick work of an eighth mile and powers on through the quarter with ease. Top speed on this 136-inch tracked vehicle will easily top 100 miles per hour.
Since the Turbo IQ LX is designed to make long range running easy, the fact that the turbocharged four-stroke adds some heft on the nose should be of no concern. If this sled were designed for berm blasting, then it could be an issue. Think of this sled as having great grip up front and in the rear and being a near ideal vehicle for making serious miles in a day. The 750cc twin should give you better than two-stroke mileage and help you to maximize the 10.2 gallons of fuel it carries when full.
We have found this engine gives impressive out-of-the-hole acceleration and smooth run up to maximum revs. It is almost cunning in its response as it could truly get you a speeding ticket because of just how smoothly it goes. You will want to check the easy-to-read Polaris multi-function digital read-out to keep your speed within trail limits.
The combination of 136-inch long track/suspension melds well with this power system. You probably won’t think about any of that as the rest of the sled has features to keep you comfy and tuned in to the ride. The base windshield sits 16 inches tall and the sporty Freestyle solo seat is cut and sewn to add a certain “specialness” to the sled. Rearview mirrors come standard, as does a 12-volt DC outlet that can power an electric gridded faceshield or other electronic toys.
This sled, too, is one of the few modern Polaris snowmobiles to retain the Rider Select steering that first appeared on the Fusion. You have a choice of five positions in the steering post. You’ll probably have two favorite settings — one for full-on cruising down the trailway and a more aggressive setting for bumpy sections. Going along with this is the removable rear storage container that holds 2,160 cubic inches of your gear. If you stop for a meal or an overnight, you undo the quick-release straps and you’re off! Of course, while this comes standard, Polaris offers a catalog full of optional gear, too.
While the 2011 Polaris Turbo IQ remains minimally changed from the previous season, you’ll find this season’s model to be a handsome sled in Pearl White with maroon-accents. When you figure in the value you get with this sled and the range of performance that comes from the turbo twin and the IQ font and rear suspension packages, you’ll see a sled well suited to the long rangers who eat up 200-plus miles between breakfast and lunch. It may not have the current Rush-look that is popular this year, but it has an uncanny ability to get you a long way down the trail with uncompromising ease and comfort. This could be the most underappreciated model in the Polaris line up for 2011.
|2011 Polaris Turbo IQ LX Specs|
|Engine||Polaris turbocharged 750cc twin cylinder 4-stroke; liquid-cooled; fuel injection;|
|Drive||Polaris P-85 drive; P2 driven with mechanical reverse|
|Front Suspension||Polaris IQ — 10-in maximum travel; Ryde FX internal floating piston (IFP) shocks|
|Rear Suspension||Polaris IQ 136 long travel parallel rail; 13.9-inches of travel; Ryde FX gas shock on front arm with Fox PS5 on rear arm|
|Ski Stance||42.5 in|
|Track||15 x 136 x 1 Hacksaw|
|Fuel Capacity||10.2 US Gal|